Severe storms have lumbered through Illinois and the South – damaging homes, sparking floods and knocking out power to thousands as the nation braces for yet another Arctic blast.
Hail the size of golf balls fell in Illinois overnight, while possible tornadoes left 24,000 people without power and flash floods swept through towns as snow began to melt.
Tennessee was also rattled by high winds and rain as the storms plunged 4,450 customers into darkness before heading east, where tornado warnings remain in effect, CNN reported. In Alabama, homes suffered damage and vehicles were overturned, while trees were downed in Georgia.
Storm: A photograph shows a tornado rattling Illinois on Thursday evening as the area suffered a stormy night
Destruction: Green Valley Circle homes are damaged in Fort Payne, Alabama during a storm early on Friday
Upturned: Tractor trailers lie overturned in Fort Payne, Alabama during a possible tornado
Damage: A tornado also touched down in Laurens County, Ga. at around 8:30am on Friday
As Southerners held on to their hats amid more tornado warnings on Friday, the Midwest, Great Lakes and the Northeast prepared for wintry storms.
Blizzard conditions are forecast for Minnesota and Iowa, and strong winds are expected across the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley, The Weather Channel reported.
Tornado and severe thunderstorm watches are in effect for much of Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
And the heavy rain and warming temperatures also sparked flood watches in Cleveland, Philadelphia and Buffalo, New York.
By Friday afternoon, more than 1,400 flights had been canceled, with more than 10,000 delayed, according to FlightAware, with eastern airports most affected.
Surveying the damage: Residents of an apartment look for damage after the fierce winds in Fort Payne
Downed: Crews work in the aftermath of the storm that hit in northern Laurens County, Georgia on Friday
Flooded: A car drives through a large puddle in Ann Arbor, Michigan as snow melted in warmer temperatures
Warnings: A forecast for Friday shows tornado warnings in the southeast and heavy winds in the north
The Weather Service said there were as many as eight tornadoes in central Illinois on Thursday and that towns had reported damaged buildings and minor injuries.
‘We have some power lines down and a little water in the road in some places,’ Pam Jacobs, the director of the Effingham County Emergency Management Agency, told CNN.
John Dwyer, the emergency management coordinator for Champaign County, reported road flooding and water in fields, which he said was caused by rain on Thursday and melted snow.
The storms will be met with snow and freezing temperatures this weekend and into next week.
The wintry weather is expected to hit the Midwest on Sunday, bringing temperatures as low as 35 degrees below normal.
After rattling the Midwest, it will stretch into the South and East at the start of next week, according to Weather Underground.
On its way: A map shows the frigid weather on its way to the country early next week
Snow escape: A 6 to 10 day forecast shows a swathe of cold temperatures expected to hit the country next week – with the Midwest, South and East expected to get temperatures colder than normal
Chill: A runner passes the lake shore in Chicago on Friday as strong winds rattled the city
A six-to-ten-day forecast from NOAA also reveals a terrifying swathe of cold temperatures starting in the Midwest on Tuesday and stretching south and to the coast – where the mercury is expected to plummet to temperatures below average, while a higher than average amount of rain is also due.
‘Temperatures 20°F below normal will likely invade the Upper Midwest on Sunday, and gradually spread southeastwards during the week,’ Dr Jeff Masters of the Weather Underground said.
‘The peak cold is predicted to occur late next week, with temperatures 20 – 35° below normal covering much of the eastern 2/3 of the country.’
Ten-day forecasts by Weather.com show that temperatures will stay below freezing, with Embarrass, Minnesota enduring lows of -29F next Friday.
And it won’t be over quickly as forecaster predict that the best chance of snow is believed to be between February 26 and March 3, as temperatures on the East Coast remain at least 15 degrees below normal, Philly.com reported.
Here we go again: An image taken in January in Detroit, Michigan shows a homeowner shoveling snow in scenes that are expected to continue for the rest of the month following a brief thaw in the Midwest
Brutal: Another file image shows a man battling cold temperatures in Michigan. This weekend, temperatures around 20 F below normal are expected to creep into the area
Masters added that due to these predicted temperatures, the cost of natural gas is soaring.
This latest Arctic blast follows a major thaw across the Midwest, where temperatures remained above freezing in Chicago, Minneapolis and Detroit for the second day.
But Dr Masters warned that with these warmer climes – with temperatures reaching the low 50s – come new problems of dangerous flash flooding.
‘Much of Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, and Indiana are covered by snows of 10 to 30 inches that if melted, would be equivalent to 2 to 6 inches of rain,’ he said.
In New York City, there are other warnings – as sheets of ice are falling from buildings as temperatures begin to rise, posing risks for pedestrians below.
New storm: A forecast shows the Northeast can expect high winds on Saturday, while the Midwest will see heavy snow from Monday as the South suffers heavier rain
Cold ahead: A March forecast shows temperatures will remain below normal in the Midwest for the month
It will come as yet more grief for the Midwest, southern and eastern areas of the country, which has been battered with grueling weather while the West largely suffers from droughts.
The relentless snow and ice storms this season have been connected to scores of traffic-related deaths and have led to the highest number of flight cancellations in more than 25 years.
U.S. airlines have canceled more than 75,000 domestic flights since December 1, including roughly 14,000 last week – the highest total number and highest percent of cancellations since at least the winter of 1987-1988, when records began.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2564948/Tornadoes-knock-power-thousands-rattling-Midwest-nation-prepares-ANOTHER-Arctic-blast.html#ixzz2u0dgDeg3
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